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Chief Cardiologist Recommends Water, Rest Over Energy Drinks

J. Chad Teeters, M.D.Dec. 6, 2012 - As college students prepare for final exams, they might be turning to energy drinks to give them a boost. But J. Chad Teeters, M.D., Chief of Cardiology at Highland Hospital, advises students to stay away from these highly caffeinated beverages.

"Some of these energy drinks have the caffeine equivalent of two large cups of strong coffee,” he says. “Not knowing this, students could drink several of these drinks in a short amount of time and overdose on caffeine.”

In recent months, reports have linked energy drinks with a number of health issues in young people, including high blood pressure, heart palpitations, heart attacks and even death. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating these reports. Two U.S. senators are also urging the FDA to restrict levels of caffeine in certain energy drinks.

Dr. Teeters says those with underlying heart conditions could be at higher risk of experiencing side effects related to too much caffeine.

For healthy individuals, Dr. Teeters says they could end up being more tired for their final exams than they would have been prior to consuming those energy drinks.

“Caffeine can make your system crash, causing you to feel worse in the long run,” Dr. Teeters says. “The best thing a student can do is drink water, eat all their meals and get plenty of rest.”

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